A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My New Sink

June 12, 2018


Big, white, workhorse style porcelain sinks have always been my favorites. They remind of old farmhouses, my grandmother's comfortable kitchen and the kind of character filled homes I have always loved.

White Porcelain Farmhouse Sink

When we added our kitchen, about fifteen years ago, apron front/ farmhouse style sinks were just starting to show up in main stream magazines and I was smitten. While I had no plan regarding cabinets, appliances or flooring, I was certain that I would have one of those dreamy throwbacks like grandma had.

I mean, how hard could it be, it was just a sink.

Of course, by now you probably know how that story ended, but when I finally gave up on the apron and decided to go with a plain white porcelain drop in model straight off the shelf at Home Depot, the criticism was just as harsh.

Oh no. That's what my mom had. You should get stainless. It's very in now. 

Ma'am you understand that porcelain isn't really in style and it doesn't wear well.

It's going to chip and stain and pit and look terrible very fast. Bad choice. 

I heard it all.

Clearly, I'm not one to follow the crowd, or listen to advice, because I went out and picked one that was as close to my farmhouse dream as I could get.

And I was actually very happy with it. Yes, I thought that eventually I would replace it with a real farmhouse sink but for the time being it would do and it held up well.

Cottage Style Kitchen Decor

It stood up to my family and everything we threw at it. We tossed pots and pans around, we've broken glasses and plates in it, I've cut flowers, planted things, washed out paint brushes and play doh and concoctions of all kinds and colors. It wasn't perfect of course, it was a little scuffed and marred, but nothing we couldn't live with.

How To Clean A Dirty White Sink

It turned out to be a excellent investment and there was really no reason to replace it...well, no good reason...except for that incessant desire. That silly apron front sink. It was a like a disease. I had to have it.

My chance to score one popped up when it recently became necessary to replace the faucet. My husband said, now or never. I'm not climbing under there twice. That's all I needed to hear.

However, after two weeks spent on Google, at Home Depot, Lowe's and the local kitchen shop it became very evident that drop-in models were no longer available. If I wanted that sink I was going to have to pay up...big...and replace my countertops.

Um..no. There was nothing wrong with them, plus I still loved them. What was I going to replace them with that would make my kitchen any better? Nothing.

But this was not in the plan. Fifteen years I had waited for that elusive sink and now so close, with a willing coconspirator, I had hit a dead end.

I have to say what followed was basically a temper tantrum, of which I am not proud. Like a spoiled toddler, or teenager, I dug in my heels and said well if I can't get the sink I always wanted, I'm at least getting a brand new one.

My ever-patient husband knew better than to argue with me at this point and just said, ok. That night I ordered a huge white porcelain basin sink, very reminiscent of the farmhouse style, I put in in my cart and clicked pay.

That is when the real fun began.

When we went to pick it up at the Home Depot several towns away, it was chipped. Okay...They had to track down another one, find a guy with a machine to get it down from the shelf and while that guy was contemplating how he was going to get it into the cart, my husband picked it up and plopped it in himself. It was very, very heavy, but he lifted again to get in the Jeep.

Once home, he unloaded that sucker from the car, brought it in the house and proceeded to disconnect and remove the old one. That one was just as heavy. After about an hour of backbreaking work, he was ready to install the new one.

Removing an old porcelain sink

Not quite the dream sink, but a worthy consolation prize that was going to make it all better. The lollipop for this spoiled, design obsessed brat. It was a big moment.

Until we realized that even though the measurements were the same as the old sink and it should've just dropped in the existing hole, it didn't fit. The sides were tapered. Our hole was for a square. Nowhere on the box or in the description did it say this. Of course, had I read the first review, I would've known this.

The complaints were right there in black and white. Don't be fooled this will not fit.

I always read reviews. I want to make sure I am ordering the right thing, that I am getting the full picture. Apparently, in my tantrum fueled haste, I skipped that step. Oops. Now what?

My poor husband just looked at me and laughed. He stood there pondering ways we might make it work aloud, while I was silent (a rarity), ready to cry. Not only did I feel bad that this guy had lifted and lifted and lifted again for absolutely nothing, I was so sad and mad that I wasn't getting my new sink after all.

A sink that I had wanted from the get go, fifteen years ago. A sink I never stopped wanting...and clearly a sink I was never going to get.

Now, before you jump in and say, hey lady, it's just a sink, get over it, I know this and ordinarily, I'd be the one saying it. I write about design with an air of great importance and weight. But if you know me at all, it's done with humor and sarcasm, in a tongue in cheek kind of way. It's only decor. I am very well aware.

There are so many, many things that are more important than a torn couch, or whether your furniture is all on or off your rug or what color grey you painted your master. It's the exact reason I write about crafts and DIY and the color of your tissue boxes, because it's all pretty inconsequential.

Mistakes can be fixed, paint can be covered up and tears can be stitched. There are no life and death decorating decisions. It's supposed to be joyful...even if it's frustrating at times.

But that stupid sink had been my nemesis for so long it just took me down that day.

I don't know, maybe I was missing my mother more than usual, perhaps it was a stand in for the disappointment I've felt about her situation at the end, that I could never make it quite right. Maybe it's that I just turned 50 and I suddenly feel very old or peri-menopause and the insomnia.

Or not, I don't know. What I do know is that when my sweet, tired husband stopped laughing he said, Ok, so let's rip out the countertops and do it right.

It was better than a proposal. And in that moment, I was back. Me. The "who cares what kind of sink I have" girl. I told him our old sink was perfect. I had everything I needed already. I was good.

How To Clean A White Porcelain Sink

So we packed and he lifted and that rounded mess went back to the store...several towns away and we spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the original sink up with Cerama Bryte, the miracle cleaner I keep telling you about.

Clean A White Porcelain Sink

It literally took every stain, smudge, black scuff mark and dull spot out.

Cleaning the drain in a white sink

When we were finished, and it was back in place that sucker looked brand spanking new. It was so shiny, I was shocked.

Best Way To Shine A Kitchen Sink

Dressed up with a new faucet and a custom skirt that sink took center stage.

Cottage style with an old farmhouse flair.

Country Cottage Style Kitchen

Fifteen years I waited for a sink that I already had.

Silly, silly girl.

I wonder what my grandmother would say about that.

What are you waiting for?


Then And Now...My Decor
Decorating Styles Then And Now

Renovation Regrets

Renovation Regrets

50 comments:

  1. Oh I so love this post. Reminds me so many times of my own trials and concerns. I agree, your sink is perfect. Your hubby is one patient man and so is mine. We are blessed.

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    1. We certainly are, Marty! I couldn't agree more... 😊

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  2. I love my white porcelain sink - for me it's a keeper and I will have to try the cleaner. Great post.

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    1. Thanks so much...and I couldn't believe what a difference the cleaner made. I'm shining once a week now! Thanks so much for the visit and comment today.

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  3. My friends always tell me....you are so lucky to have a husband like Drew, he knows and does so much. And I always respond, well he's a pretty lucky guy too. ;) But I have to say, your husband rocks. He gets a gold star in my book. You both make a great pair.

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    1. Thanks so much! I will definitely pass you kind compliment along. And I agree, it takes two to tango, but it also helps to have the right partner!! 😉

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  4. Kim, I can relate--the struggle is real! As bloggers we decorate, we style, arrange and rearrange and then take a million photos to get just the "right one" and occasionally get those notions about that perfect thing that will complete "the look." I've been there, too and I love your sink story ;) p.s. I also love how your husband responded--smart man!

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    1. Totally, Cecelia...living in the land of perfect decor blogs can skew reality sometimes. It was good to step away from the computer and snap back into real life and what truly matters.

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  5. Funny, my sister and me had the stainless and porcelain sink debate. She likes stainless, I like porcelain. She was a farm wife for 20 years and now wants modern and nothing farm. I was an adventurer and now want cozy cottage. Funny how our lives inspire our design choice. Thanks for sharing. I got a good laugh out of this,

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    1. It is funny! I grew up in house that was always decorated on the cutting edge and I loved it. We used to go to my aunt's New England home, in the country (to us anyway!) and I would see wooden rocking chairs and braided rugs and cringe. Of course, now, that is what I am drawn to...it just feels warm and cozy. I think my aunt would be happy about that! And I'm glad you got a laugh out of this one. That's always the hope!!

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  6. Oh, this post is SO timely, Kim. Having left the "cottage of my dreams" (ok, not exactly my dream . . . my dream would be a thatched roof cottage with limestone walls and an unfitted kitchen, but it was close) and now living in a 2 bedroom/2 bath modern apartment with a desire to live more simply, more contentedly, I'm having to face some realities that are mind bending for me. I'm glad you found contentment with what you have, and made it all work out so beautifully. Your kitchen is unique (as is the rest of your home) full of cottage charm, and I applaud you for inspiring others to find ways to achieve their dreams without breaking the bank. Well done once more, my friend. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Thanks so much, Nancy. I really don't know why that sink had such a hold on me. I mean after all, it's just a sink. When the water hoses broke and we had to put a terribly mismatched, junk parts fixture there while waiting for the new one, I didn't care what it looked like. I was so grateful to have water!! And I think about you often in your digs and your new state. I know it must be a wonderful adventure, but even happy adventures are not without adjustment. I'm sure it's not easy. Hugs!!

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  7. You know, of course, that I am ever searching for the "perfect - fill in the blank. My most recent search was for a loveseat. It had to be of tge older style, not that sloppy, overstuffed, lumbar-pillow variety. The arm suppirt piece had to be place wide, not on it's side (so your elbow rests on a 3" wide piece of wood instead of 3/4" wide, which always fits right on my not-so-funny bone,) coordinate reasonably with the pea soup green walls and be thrift store cheap. I found one that fit everything but the color, figuring i could make a slip cover of the ubiquitous drop cloths in my cupboard. But the delivery date was 2 weeks away! Bad! I found another one that was as comfortable, the arms were designed to smooze, it was a readonable color, AND I was able to do some horse trading for the cash. I got a store credit on the first one, got the "better one" home, sat on it to watch House for 2 episodes, and regretted my trade. The cushions, color and arms are better than the first one, but the back has hard, deep tufts that hurt my back! No returns, so I cut the buttons off the middle row of tufts and am waiting to see if that helps any...
    Oh, and when i bought this old house, I gad an option on an old porcelain sink. Wish i would have bought it!
    Your husband is an angel. I understand your meltdown and frustration. I repeat, your husband is an angel!

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    1. I totally get it, Nancy. There are certain things that are nonnegotiable. I really do hope that your love seat fix makes it more comfortable for you. You're super crafty, so I know you will make it work. And yes, he's an angel and I tell him so often. Probably not often enough, but often!

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  8. Oh how I love this post! Your sink looks gorgeous and what I like is that it does not look like everyone else's sink!!! Your husband is a real sweetheart, for sure!

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    1. Thanks Jane! It certainly doesn't look like anyone else's. Ha! I really was trying to follow the crowd on this one, but nope. Didn't work out that way. And thanks, he is a sweetheart. I think he likes the way it all turned out, just as much as I do. ☺️

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  9. I love your kitchen. So fresh and happy. I have a white porcelain sink too Chose it when we replaced the ugly stainless one when we moved here). I love my sink, well, pretty much. It is chipped and stained and scratched. That part I don't like, but I STILL like it better than the stainless. Now that I have read about your miracle cleaner I am hoping to love it again. Thanks for the advice. My kitchen is a far cry from yours but it makes me pretty happy.

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    1. Thank you so much for your super kind words. I bet your kitchen is beautiful and if it makes you happy, then that's all you need!! Definitely try the cleaner. I was so surprised. Let me know if it works for you! 😊

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  10. Kim, you are a crack-up! I love your stories. It kind of sounds like me picking paint. Everyone says it is a cheap fix. Or it's only paint. But, when the good man has to paint and repaint because the little woman can't see color when it is right before her eyes, then that could be a problem. Lucky for us we have understanding good men. Your sink is beautiful and does look like brand new. My kids were so hard on the porcelain sinks I had in the past, that this time I got stainless. No one told me it was out of style, I just knew, but I was tired of the chips and chunks and I am happy for now..Happy Tuesday..xxoJudy

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    1. Judy, I have been there with the paint, too. We certainly have sainted husbands, don't we? And my neighborhood is full of stainless sinks. They're practical, they hold up well and I think they're very in style...and if you enjoy it, that's all that matters!

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  11. Oh I so loved this! We waste a lot of time wanting something only to find out we already have it.

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    1. Jenny, you are so right. Too much time wasted...I tried to explain this to my teens. I don't know if they really, really get it or if it's something you have to grow into to...

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  12. Just like everyone else, I loved this Kim! Especially your honesty, and THE TANTRUM! I've had so many of those that I'm not proud of either. Bless your dear hubby for laughing. He knows just how to handle his Kim! Bless you for taking that sink back & being happy with it & all it took was a cleaner!

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    1. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who has an occasional tantrum over silly things, Florence. And yes, laughing was awesome. Straightened me and my bad attitude right out!!

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  13. Happy how the story ended . . .
    And look at the money that was saved . . .
    Temper tantrum times do happen to us as adults sometimes . . . (tee hee)
    I agree with a comment above . . . your husband rocks . . .
    Plus you are a “great team!”
    I am going to have to get some of that Creamy Brite
    and spruce up my stainless sink and ceramic stove top . . . pronto!
    Great read . . . excellent writer . . .

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    1. Thanks for the sweet words...and yes, he totally rocks, Lynne. The guy can do anything, he's so talented...and beyond that, he does anything for me. Can't get any better than that. AND with the money we saved, we took a little outing. Beach waves beat kitchen sinks any day of the week!! xoxo

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  14. Love it!! Looks shining and beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Angela! It is still very shiny!!

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    1. Thanks Deanna. While it was a mess then, my husband and I laugh about that day now. And we love the sink.

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  16. Thanks for the tip on the cleaner! I LOVE my white porcelain sink but it's needs some love so I will be trying the Cerama Bryte. Glad the sink dilemma worked out in the end.

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    1. Thanks AnnMarie! I'm glad it worked out, too...and the fact that it's clean and shiny now is a bonus. Hope it works for you, too.

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  17. Kind of like in The Wizard of OZ, when Dorothy realizes there is no place like home :-). Great story!!

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  18. Hi Kim, oh I love this sink story. I will have to say that you have a patient and good husband. You two work so well together on your house projects. I love the way that cleaner works and the sink looks great. The curtain on the front cabinets make it look real farm house and I just love that pretty fabric.
    Julie

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    1. Thanks Julie! He's a good guy and enjoys the DIY stuff as much as I do, so it works out well.

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  19. I never thought I'd say this about a sink post but that was very satisfying. I'm glad you kept the old one and found a way to own it like never before. When we bought our Ikea kitchen for the Greece apartment we also had a huge problem with the sink. It would fit in but not quite and we had to cut and cut and in the end the underside of the counter looked like a jigsaw puzzle. I don't wish that on anybody. And your husband rocks!!

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    1. Haha...thanks Mary! It was satisfying to just have a sink that worked at that point! And I can totally relate to your story. We have been there many times with all sorts of projects. Grrr...

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  20. Thank you for sharing. I do like the inspiration you share with us, the projects are projects that make sense, and are something most of us can manage with a wee bit of help. I really appreciate that you look at the cost regarding the projects, using what we already have to make something look new. Well done, as always.

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    1. Thanks Carla. I really do hope that our simple DIYs encourage others to try the same. Even if all they gain is an understanding of the process. 😀

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  21. I love a happy ending. So glad that you got the right sink for you. :)

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  22. Loved your story!!! You are the BEST!
    I have a 68 year old white porcelain sink...it has two bowls and is very deep! I would strangle anyone who tried to change it!!
    Now I'm off to the store to look for your magic cleaner....hopefully it will be magical for us :^)
    Have a blessed weekend,
    J

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    1. J, YOU are the best! Thanks so much for taking the time to pop by and read my crazy sink tale...and I do hope the cleaner works for you! xo

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  23. Kim, what a great story with a happy ending. You make a great team and he is there for you, which is better than a farm sink. Several years ago I saw a sign I refused to pay $15 for but it had a great impact. "Someone else would be happy to have what you have" So many don't have husbands or the old home anymore, but we count our blessings. You are such a blessing to us.
    Myrna

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    1. Thanks so much, Myrna! You just made my day. And I consider myself extremely blessed in many ways...including the fact that I have so many lovely friends who pop by regularly to read what I have to share. ❤️

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  24. You have to be wary, Kim. Now that the sink story has found its ending, all the other fixtures in your home know that there is a spot available for 'next project' :-)
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Oh Amalia...you have no idea. they are already lining up!! 😆

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  25. If it makes you feel any better, Kim, I have had silly adult temper tantrums like that, too. Our husbands are very patient men. ;-) I absolutely love your clean, sparkling, white sink. You're right - it's perfect. Now...I do need a new sink AND new countertops! But those are waay on the back burner with getting new central air, the roof fixed, and a new porch and sidewalk put in this summer.

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    1. Priorities Melanie!! I hear you loud and clear. The a/c, roof, porch and sidewalk are necessary fixes...just not nearly as fun to tackle. Good luck with all your renovations.

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